The Times devotes a front page profile to the Georgetown law professor (and Cato colleague),who is more closely identified than any other thinker with the legal case against ObamaCare’s individual mandate. (More: ABA Journal, Bernstein/Volokh, Chicago Reader.) I’ve known Prof. Barnett and admired his work for longer than I can remember and this gives me the chance to point out self-servingly that he also wrote one of the very nicest blurbs for my book Schools for Misrule:
“While the public loves to bash lawyers, judges, and politicians, law professors have escaped all blame. Olson provides the inside story of how progressive political ideology became the reigning orthodoxy of elite legal education, providing the legal theories responsible for an overweening government committed to mandating, prohibiting, or regulating every aspect of American life in the ‘public interest.’ I wish I could say he exaggerates but, sadly, the legal foundation of the road to serfdom was devised by law professors.”
— RANDY E. BARNETT, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown Law Center; author of Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty
Marc Randazza is a prominent First Amendment lawyer who has been a friend to this site and many others. Popehat, Eric Turkewitz, Amy Alkon and back-in-commission Scott Greenfield are all posting well-merited appreciations.
The great people at Liberty Fund have just launched a new website called Library of Law and Liberty that promises to be of much interest. Among its debut features: a substantial audio interview in which Richard Reinsch, editor of the site, asks me about my book Schools for Misrule and law schools’ role in reform movements since the Progressive Era. Outstanding legal scholars Michael Greve (AEI) and Mike Rappoport (University of San Diego) will be blogging for the site. Other front-page attractions include Michael Greve discussing his new book The Upside Down Constitution, my Cato colleague John Samples reviewing Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule’s new book on executive power, Ilya Somin on federalism and individual freedom, and Philip Hamburger and commenters on judicial review.
You can listen to my audio interview on Schools for Misrule at this link.
I’m pleased to announce that Overlawyered has been named by the American Bar Association as one of its “Blawg 100″ noteworthy legal blogs. It’s not our first appearance on the list, but it’s always gratifying when it happens.
And here’s the good part: you can vote for us. In particular, you can go to this page:
You’ll need to register (which only takes a few moments) and then vote for your favorite in each of a list of categories. (They put Overlawyered in the “Torts” category.)
The nominations include many of our favorite and most-linked blogs, including Lowering the Bar, Prof. Bainbridge, Volokh, Jon Hyman, Daniel Schwartz, Abnormal Use, Eric Turkewitz, and Russell Jackson, to name a few. A number of these are also in the “Torts” category which means you’ll need to resist the urge to vote for them and select Overlawyered instead. Please take a moment to vote now. Thanks in advance for your support!
After being widely criticized for his handling of a criminal case, a lawyer is now suing his critics by the dozen, including a raft of leading law bloggers; the case is already being dubbed “Rakofsky v. Internet.” A list of the many defendants is here (PDF) courtesy of defendant Mark Bennett, who has also compiled a compendium of blog posts that discuss the new action. Among defendants and others talking back: Eric Turkewitz, Colin Samuels, Scott Greenfield, Avvo, Keith Lee.
It’s not getting one-ten-thousandth the coverage of Mr. Tasini’s suit against the Huffington Post, perhaps because it’s not based on quite such an exotic set of legal theories. FindLaw pays staffers to write legal blogs and the suit charges that they were encouraged/allowed to work unpaid overtime. [ABA Journal] Eric B. Meyer has more (“Working through lunch may create overtime issues for employers”).
Several interesting reactions to my book already from around the blogosphere:
- University of Illinois law professor Larry Ribstein (who commented at my speech there last week): “There was a good turnout and a lot of deserved buzz for this very interesting book. … The book deserves a lot of attention, particularly from law professors and their students as a source of critical perspective on trends in legal education. There is little doubt that the ideas Olson criticizes are hatched mainly in law schools rather than by practicing lawyers and judges, and have led to costly and questionable litigation.” And a response from Scott Greenfield, who says the book’s premise that law professors have great influence over the state of the law “warms the cockles of lawprofs’ hearts given that most of the legal profession considers their influence marginal at best.”
- Ted Frank: “should be required reading for law students, and deserves a place on any Federalist Society member’s bookshelf.”
- Alan Crede writes a lengthy and thoughtful review at Boston Personal Injury Lawyer Blog. He notes that on, e.g., the work of legal clinics, “the traditional taxonomy of liberal and conservative breaks down when you start to deal with many fine-grain legal issues.” And: “There are at least two law professors – Tim Wu and Elizabeth Warren (who is now in the Obama administration) – who possess rock star cachet in progressive circles” and can hardly be charged with any sort of airy unwillingness to engage with the demands of practical law reform. Crede generously concludes “whether you agree with Olson’s conclusions or not, there is a lot that you can learn from ‘Schools For Misrule.'”
- Perhaps my favorite review so far (aside from the great one in Publisher’s Weekly) is from Ira Stoll at Future of Capitalism. It begins: “Of all the possible explanations for Barack Obama, one of the most intriguing is that, like Bill Clinton before him, he was both a law school graduate and a law school professor.” Stoll summarizes many of the book’s themes, particularly as regards “public interest”, human-rights and institutional-reform litigation, and includes this takeaway: “Any donor or foundation wanting to reshape legal education would find Mr. Olson’s book a fine place to begin.”
It’s the subject of an amusing new blog entitled Law and the Multiverse, whose posts consider how the doings of superpower-endowed heroes and their super-villain adversaries might implicate (e.g.) the Second Amendment, the ADA, RICO, and insurance coverage law [via Lowering the Bar]